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#InternationalMensDay: Prospects helps young men volunteer in Gloucestershire

19 November 2015


Today is International Men’s Day, which highlights issues facing men including mental health problems, the need for positive male role models and encouraging them to consider careers that currently recruit low levels of men. Prospects supports boys and men of all ages to overcome their personal barriers and take steps towards work.

Prospects provides the Gloucestershire Youth Support Service on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council, working with approximately 6,000 vulnerable local young people, targeting specific groups who are most at risk of not making a successful transition into adulthood. Prospects advisers encourage young people to volunteer and gain crucial skills. Kate Soo, Youth Support Team (YST) Adviser, helped Craig* start a work placement, which has improved his confidence.

Craig has anxiety issues, which led to him being housebound for long periods. Kate found a volunteer placement with Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust for Craig, having completed careers and skills assessments to find suitable options. After much encouragement, Kate persuaded Craig to join the placement.

Craig is now working with Jo Worthy Jones, Community Wildlife Officer, to help build a wild garden, which will encourage more wildlife and have improved access for people with disabilities, including those with visual impairments and wheelchair users. He is really enjoying the placement, which has improved his confidence and helped him gain important social skills. Jo was impressed with Craig's progress and has asked him to help research artefacts found at a local archaeological site. 

Craig said: “I can honestly say that attending the project and working with Jo has made me socialise with a stranger/given me knowledge of nature, wildlife and gardening and how important this is. My confidence in the garden has really increased and being around nature has definitely improved my mood. I have had lots of physical exercise and I have really enjoyed the experience so far!”

When asked about Kate, Craig said: “My YST worker never gave up hope for me and supported me at the beginning to go and also came to a lot of sessions, but I go on my own now.”

Click here to visit the Gloucestershire Youth Support Team website.

*Not his real name.

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